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Customer Feedback: Clarity

I received this email from a new customer, Mardhiah, about 2 weeks ago. She was trying out Clarity for the first time, and this is what she had to say about it:

I’ve only been using your soap (I bought ‘Clarity’) for about 3 days now, but I already feel clean and silky. I have minor scars from my habit of scratching my skin (not my fault, it’s always so itchy for no reason!), your soap made it look less visible. I also used it on my scalp yesterday. I have moderate dandruff, but after my hair dried from using your soap, the itch went away and there’s a lot less flaking. Adore your soap! Will definitely stock up on more, might even stock up for the year considering how much I love them! Keep making soaps for us please!

Xoxo
Mardhiah

I’m really glad you’ve found Clarity to work for you so well, Mardhiah! 😀 Visit my Testimonials page if you’d like to read what other people are saying about Kinder Soaps.

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Songbird Test Batch #1

Ah, finally made some soap last night. I’d spent too much time in the past week just reading and not moving around, and was dying to make soap!

This formula has been on the backburner for a couple of months now, because I had to busy myself with other commitments. I’ve been meaning to experiment beyond my current range of natural ingredients, simply because

  • I need to satisfy this itch to play.
  • There are so many other essential oils out there that I haven’t tried using yet.
  • I’ve been making the same soaps over and over again, and I need to reignite the more exploratory side of me.

It might sound a little self-indulgent–and it is. But I really do need to look inwards once in a while and nourish myself, so that I’m strong and capable enough to giving more. Am I making sense? :p

Anyway, I’m still using ingredients that are reasonably skin-friendly. In this instance I used micas for colouring, the same stuff that you’d find in mineral makeup. However, people with hypersensitive skin may want to give this a miss just to be on the safe side.

I’m naming this soap Songbird, for reasons which I will explain in another post. For now, I’d just like to show you how my experimentation with micas turned out in this soap. For essential oils, I used cypress, cedarwood (virginian), pine, eucalyptus, and peppermint. I think it’s a nice balance between sweet and bright (the peppermint and eucalyptus), and woody (cedarwood, cypress and pine). I personally like it–it’s quite a grown-up kind of scent. You’ve gotta come smell it for yourself since I’m not very good at describing it. :”>

Right! So on to the photos. Here’s the soap still in the mold. I adore how the light soda ash actually helped to play up the shimmer from the off-white pearl mica I used in part of the raw soap mixture:

Songbird test batch 1

After popping it out of the mold and removing the paper lining. Look at the gentle waves of olive-green on the sides. Lovely!

Songbird test batch 1 - swirl detail

Here we have the soaps sliced up. The olive-green colour you see in the soap is from using wheatgrass powder, by the way.

IMG_0089

Notice also that the edges of the soap are a bit on the crumbly side. I think I’ve ever only come across this happening in my soap once before–it was for a batch of Clarity. Me thinks it could be the fact that the lye water I used was completely cool (I had prepared it hours in advance, instead of during the soapmaking session itself, which is what I normally do), and the oils were pretty much at room temperature as well. This batch of Songbird didn’t heat up much at all at the early stages of saponification either. Could that be the cause of the soap being a bit crumbly?

Or (this is my biggest doubt for this batch) was I too heavy-handed with the mica powders?

I wonder if the soap will have a slight bluish tinge to the lather once it’s used after curing fully. :p

And another interesting thing to note is the colour of the soap to which I added the white pearl mica. On the top of the soap it’s a brilliant, shimmering white, but the layers that were inside the soap were much less distinct, but still retaining a bit of shimmer. Perhaps adding some titanium dioxide to the white mixture will make it more… well, white. I haven’t got any on me right now though.

Well, that’s it for this test batch. Overall I’m quite happy with how the colours turned out, but I must find out how to do away with the crumbliness of the soap. On to test batch No. 2…

These will be up for sale, by the way. They’ll be ready towards the end of June, but I have yet to decide on the price. Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll post an announcement about it within the week. 🙂

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I Have Shingles

UH HUH. No kidding. 🙁 So I’m moving a lot slower, given the spectacular rash that’s crawling around the right side of my ribs and back, and hurts like crazy.

I’ll do my utmost best to keep up with your orders, but it does look like I won’t be making any soap for the next two weeks.

Take good care of yourselves ya! I will be hunkered down at my desk, trawling the web, and maybe shuffling around the house trying to make myself useful…

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Shipping Policies

My hubby gave wise words of counsel the other day, when the kids were asleep and I was on the brink of tears scrambling through my mountains of paperwork, un-sent packages and receipts. He said, “Outsource the more routine duties so you can focus on actually making soap.”

While I’m most definitely grateful for the steady growth of sales here at Kinder Soaps, it has gotten to the point where I sometimes cannot cope with the sheer volume of stuff that needs doing. One of the more pressing issues is getting packages done up nicely and sent out in a timely manner. So instead of running around like a mad, headless chicken fulfilling orders on the spot, I have opted to take a more systematic approach to handling deliveries.

From now on, I will ship within T+2 days upon receipt of your payment, using PosLaju for local deliveries, and registered parcel for international destinations. So for example if you transfer funds to my account today, but your payment clears in my bank account tomorrow, I will most likely ship the following business day, or the day after that at the very latest.

At least this way I can avoid the mad rush of doing up packages on an ad-hoc basis and instead group all my tasks together more efficiently.

(I know this post has nothing to do with outsourcing, but perhaps in the near future I will have some experiences to share with you on this.)

Thank goodness for my better half! :p

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We’re Now Officially a Sdn Bhd (Limited Liability Company)!

At long last–Kinder Soaps is now a separate legal entity from myself, as of 9th May 2011. Should I set this date aside as Kinder Soaps Sdn Bhd’s birthday?

I should get some cake. Chocolate? Butterscotch..?

I must thank Melysa Lum of Carbrinice Art who introduced me to the company secretary who made this so effortless and pain-free, Janice Chong. I’d strongly recommend her if any of you are in need of such services, just ask me for her number. 🙂

And of course, I couldn’t have possibly gotten to this stage without the support of all Kinder Soaps’ lovely customers. Thank you for your constant encouragement and useful feedback. Knowing that what little knowledge and skill I can offer you does make a difference in your lives, is what keeps me going. You nourish my heart.

Now that’s done, it’s on to properly registering my soap with our National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau. That’s for the bigger picture. For now, I must get all these orders OUT OF THE DOOR.

* dives back into my pile of papers *